Edge / IoT

Postcard from the Edge: Government Use of Internet-of-Things

15 Oct 2020 9:07am, by

Edge computing’s cacophonous hype distracts, but actual use cases driving demand are described in a new report, Internet of Things: Information on Use by Federal Agencies. IoT describes devices and sensors at decentralized locations. The degree to which IoT handles information and execute applications locally as opposed to a centralized location is at the heart of debates about what truly defines edge computing.

Monitoring and controlling equipment is the most common IoT use case among the 90 U.S. government agencies surveyed. These use cases are similar to the industrial IoT (IIoT) trend, which at its core is about operational technology (OT) systems getting connected networks. The second most common use case is access control, which is basically using something like a fingerprint or retina scanner to provide access to a building. Third on the list is tracking physical assets such as a fleet of cars or equipment, with 31% of the agencies surveyed currently using it. An additional 29% plan to start using IoT to physical assets the next five years.

AR/VR, caching, data ingest, location mapping, ML, robotics, NLP, video processing are other use cases driving demand for edge computing. Whether or not applications should be run at the edge is based on criteria that include security, latency, data residency, and performance requirements.

The report also asked the same agencies how challenging it has been to deploy IoT technologies. Unsurprisingly, 36% rated cybersecurity as very challenging, and 24% rated interoperability with legacy systems as very challenging. At least in terms of thinking about application architecture, the move from cloud to edge computing may create “interoperability” problems for developers that may not have a lot of lift-and-shift options available to them.

Stay tuned for more postcards about IoT at the edge and other use cases, technologies, and architectures developers are integrating into their next new stack.

US Government Plans to Significantly Expand Its Adoption of IoT to Track Physical Assets

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